MBAD African Bead Museum
16 years ago Olayami Dabls came to the corner of Grand River and West Grand Blvd with a vision to create a space for his community to understand the immense power of their African heritage.
Occupying almost an entire city block, the MBAD African Bead Museum houses 18 outdoor installations as well as the African Bead Gallery, N’kisi House and African Language Wall. Born of his own visual cosmology, Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum is a quiet revolution that sparks a vital conversation with global and local audiences.
Dabls has worked as a visual story teller using a wide range of materials for more than 45 years. His work uses references from African material culture to tell stories about the human condition. Using iron, rock, wood and mirrors, Dabls found that these four materials are primary building blocks that speak universally to all cultures.
Much of Dabls’ work at MBAD incorporate the surrounding housing and building materials and spaces. While not used so much as a living space, these elements make visiting MBAD a powerful experience that is not to be missed!
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